Spanish Mackerels are a smaller cousin of the King Mackerel. Like the King they prefer warm water and are often present off the coast of the Carolinas during the Summer months. They are fast swimmers that congregate in large schools and feed on small baitfish. Spanish Mackerels can be caught using live bait , spoons and other lures , including mackerel trees which are very similar to the rig we're making today.
I really don't know where or when the straw rig originated , but I can certainly remember the first time I saw one in action. I was at the end of Hatteras Island Fishing Pier in Rodanthe and had been seeing Kings busting on schools of Spanish all day. I had been trying for a couple of hours to catch some of the small Spanish to send out on my pin rig with absolutely no luck , when a guy comes out with a straw rig and promptly catches 4 perfectly sized Spanish Mackerels on his first cast. Needless to say I could have thrown him off of the pier , but I did learn how to make them from him and I still consider him a friend to this day.
|My Straw Rig Box|
I always cut my straws for these rigs in advance and keep them in my tackle box so they are ready when I need them. I cut mine so they are straight on one end and at a 45 degree angle on the other. I like for mine to be split on the top side of the 45 degree end , so the hook will rest in the split.
I'm not entirely sure why this rig works , but it does. I guess the straws have a baitfish look when they are in the water and maybe water passing through the straws triggers strikes. You can fish these with a MH bass rod or a heavier rod used for surf fishing. Cast the rig out and bring it back in fairly quickly. I like to keep the top hook just barely under water. I also bounce it some and shake it around to trigger strikes.
You have two option when it comes to storing these rigs. You can make them as needed and when you're done cut the hooks , sinker and swivel off. Or you can use foam (pictured below) and bury the hooks in it so you don't have to retie every time. Pool noodles also work well for this purpose.
|Anybody know what this foam is called?|